Friday, January 22, 2010

L'Artisan Parfumeur Al Oudh

Notes: cumin, cardamom, pink pepper, date, rose, neroli, incense, saffron, leather note, oud, Atlas cedar, castoreum, civet, sandalwood, patchouli, myrrh, vanilla and tonka bean

Even though "cumin" is the first note listed, and it is indeed present in L'Artisan Parfumeur's newest, Al Oudh, it's pretty subtle. It smells more of food than of sweat and is balanced by the more prickly and camphorescent notes that accompany it - incense, cardamom, saffron, and leather.

Wait...I spoke too soon. While the cumin is subtle, it's omnipresent. As the scent dries down, it merges with the civet and castoreum to form a stinking miasma of armpit more animalistic funk, all in an incense haze. At one point, the scent was frankincense and armpit. Later on I could detect some sweet warmth from vanilla and myrrh but purely as background notes.

But what about the oud? I wondered that myself. For a scent that has "oudh" in the name, it certainly doesn't smell much like that particular ingredient. Sometimes I think I can detect it, if I hold my nostril at a particular angle to the hand on which I applied the juice. Talk about subtle.

I might make it sound like Al Oudh is a stink-fest. But as far as body odor-esque fragrances is concerned, this isn't so bad. It's somewhat tame, actually. It smells far better than the fat swarthy man with a briefcase we once encountered at the airport (an olfactory terrorist of the highest degree). It's not anything I would wear, but the more adventurous among us may like Al Oudh very much.

Sample obtained from


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